Ohio State’s 2021 quarterback roster is loaded with talent but lacks experience. From a talent perspective, the Buckeyes have never been more loaded at the quarterback position than they are right now. Quinn Ewers is the highest-rated recruit Ohio State has ever signed. Kyle McCord was a five-star recruit too. C.J. Stroud was a near-five-star recruit who was ranked as the third-best quarterback in the class of 2020, when Jack Miller was also a four-star recruit.
All of those quarterbacks have the potential to be college football stars and future NFL players, giving Ohio State four promising options at the position and Buckeye fans plenty of reason for optimism that the scarlet and gray will have another elite quarterback this year and for years to come.
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None of those quarterbacks, however, have ever thrown a collegiate pass going into the 2021 season. And that’s been a source of anxiety for Ryan Day leading into the Buckeyes’ Sept. 2 season opener at Minnesota.
“There’s gonna be one starter, that’s the only thing I know for sure,” Day said. “The first play against Minnesota, there’s gonna be one quarterback in the game unless we decide to put two out there. But that’s probably not gonna happen.”
Stroud, who is most comparable to the departed Justin Fields with his ability to both throw from the pocket and make plays on the run, is expected to begin the season as the starter. He was the No. 2 quarterback behind Fields in 2020, which made him the frontrunner in the competition all along, and he’s impressed the coaches with his body of work this offseason.
“Every day, he’s been competing,” Day said of Stroud. “He’s been taking care of the football. Making good decisions. He’s been a leader. Those are all some of the traits that we’re looking for.”
However, there’s no guarantee Stroud will start the entire season. Ideally, Day would like to have one starting quarterback who excels all year long, but an injury or inconsistent performance could open the door for another quarterback to play – like the last time Ohio State won the national championship in 2014, when Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a title after Braxton Miller got hurt before the season and J.T. Barrett got hurt in the final regular-season game.
“We’re talking about going all the way to January,” Day said. “And so everything in my experience is we’re gonna need everybody.”
Read more about the season over at ElevenWarriors.com